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Michelle O'Neill Supports UK's Proposed Smoking Ban for Under-10s

Michelle O'Neill, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, supports the UK government's proposed smoking ban that would prevent anyone born after 2009 from buying cigarettes.
The policy survived opposition from some Tory figures and Northern Ireland's DUP MPs, who plan to work on improving the legislation.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson raised concerns about implementation, while Alliance's Stephen Farry was the only Northern Ireland MP to vote in favor of the ban.

The government confirmed the ban will apply in Northern Ireland as well.

Sinn Fein's First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, announced plans to introduce a smoke-free generation through a new law, which requires approval from the Northern Ireland Assembly via a legislative consent motion (LCM).

The intention is to create a smoke-free environment, and the executive has supported Health Minister Robin Swann's proposal to bring the LCM to the assembly.

Arlene Foster denied any concerns that EU regulations or the Windsor Framework could hinder the law's application in Northern Ireland.

Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly acknowledged the need for scrutiny, while an agreement in principle has reportedly been reached within the executive to include Northern Ireland in the legislation.

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill passed in the Commons with a large majority of 316 votes.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins emphasized the importance of the bill, stating "there is no liberty in addiction." If enacted, the UK's smoking laws would be among the strictest globally.

The UK's approach is believed to have been influenced by a New Zealand law, which was later repealed after a change in government.

DUP MP Ian Paisley requested a guarantee that the law would apply equally across the UK.
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